Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Online Baby Showers

Sometime last May a member of the Ankh-Morpork Knitter's Guild at Ravelry proposed that we hold an online baby shower for a member of the guild who lives in Scotland & was expecting her first baby, after she discovered that baby showers are not the norm there. I threw my hat in because I love, love, love sending things around the world :)  The main part of the plan was for everyone to make 6"x6" squares, themed to Terry Pratchett's Discworld books, that the soon-to-be mom could sew into a baby afghan. If we wanted to send anything else, we could. The recipient, named Kickin' K at ravelry, had posted some colour & washability preferences, & was quite sweetly overwhelmed by everyone's enthusiasm.

I decided to make a "Buglit" square, which is a reference to an early word Commander of the Watch Sam Vime's son, Sam Jr., says (much to his mother's dismay :). I thought it was appropriate for a baby afghan square at least. I made the square from Knit Picks Swish superwash DK wool yarn that I dyed with procion dyes, & then duplicate-stitiched the buglit part from a chart I made. Unfortunately, I counted the stitches across to fit the words to the square, but forgot to count the rows, so it's a bit off centre. But you can read it!

I also wanted to make a couple hats, for "now" & "later", so I made an infant cap using my own pattern & Knit Picks comfy cotton fingering weight yarn. At the top of the picture is an omamori from Japan, this one particularly for safety in childbirth. They're very beautiful & carried my wishes for Kickin' K, mom to mom. She said later that she packed it in her hospital bag & all did go well for her during delivery... yay!

For the "later" hat, I used the Swish DK again, in multi-colours, to make an earflap hat of my own design. The pattern uses modified earflaps from the Andean Knitting book, with my own hat pattern on top. The little green guys are also from a chart from Andean Knitting, and although I suspect they're supposed to be hummingbirds, I called them swamp dragons, which are creatures from Pratchett's books.

For the actual baby shower they picked a weekend early in June, after Kickin' K went on leave from work, and she let folks know when she'd be online so we could "watch" her as she opened her presents & then posted pictures of the gifts online. I caught part of it & it was so much fun!! Her husband had the earflap hat perched on his head in the picture & it was so cute & funny! Everyone sent the most wonderful things, from all over the world- Australia, all over the US, Germany, Norway, the UK. There were sweaters, booties, & socks, & a plushie turtle & a hedgehog, almost all of it hand-made. And the squares were wonderful!

Not long after, we discovered another guild member was expecting her first child, so we decided to have a shower for her. Sofisan lives in Sweden, so I had the joy of putting together another international package :)
Since the gifts didn't have to be sent until early August, I purchased the omamori when I visited a shrine in the south of Japan in July. I made another Buglit square, this time better-centred on the square. I made another infant cap (she particularly requested things in green) & then the "later" hat is my idea of a "baby werewolf hat" with mitts to match (another of my own designs). This online shower has been on-going, with 2 installments so far, & the presents have been just as fun & creative. I just love seeing what everybody comes up with. Maybe that's why I'm enjoying ravelry so much!